Final from Atlanta, Georgia
Game recap by CC:
Thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Matt Gump, the Centre men's basketball team closed out its regular season with a 63-61 win at Oglethorpe in a Southern Athletic Association game Sunday in Atlanta, Ga.
Gump, a sophomore guard from Bellefontaine, Ohio, not only gave Centre the win with the shot, but also gave the Colonels a share of their third straight SAA regular season championship. The win was Centre's ninth straight and closes the team's regular season with a 20-4 overall record and a 11-3 SAA mark. The Colonels tie atop the conference standings with Rhodes, which also concluded its SAA schedule at 11-3 after a win over Millsaps on Sunday. With Centre and Rhodes splitting the two regular season meetings and losing to the same teams in conference play, Rhodes holds the tiebreaker and will host the SAA Tournament by virtue of having a better SAA home record at 7-0.
Oglethorpe came back from a double-digit deficit in the half to take the lead twice in the final minute, seemingly putting the Colonels away when Romello Bates drove the length of the floor and converted a 3-point play to put the Petrels up 61-60 with 3.6 seconds left. However, Gump took the inbounds pass and raced to the other end of the floor, getting off the leaning game-winner from the top of the key just before the final buzzer.
Gump finished with 15 points for the Colonels while Josh Karsner (Frankfort, Ky.) led all players with 17. Blake Scinta (Louisville, Ky.) added nine points with a game-high nine rebounds, and Drew Patrick topped Oglethorpe with 16 points.
Centre controlled the game most of the way, with the game's only tie and three lead changes all coming in the final 45 seconds. The game also started out with a 3-pointer by Gump on the first possession, and the Colonels were able to push their lead out to 13-5 early on after Sam Gruber (LaGrange, Ky.) hit back-to-back 3-pointers.
Check out Gump's game-winner:
Today's video of Matt Gump's game winner for Title! @davemchugh @d3hoops @CentreC @awireman @Drew_Deener @smosswkyt pic.twitter.com/NZXhKcKnn1
— Greg Mason (@centrebball) February 23, 2015